Jury finds teenager guilty of brutal attack on “defenceless” homeless woman

PUBLISHED: 13:39 17 April 2019 | UPDATED: 13:39 17 April 2019

The assault happened near Great Yarmouth market place. Picture: Joseph Norton

The assault happened near Great Yarmouth market place. Picture: Joseph Norton


A teenager has been convicted of a brutal attack on a “defenceless” homeless woman sleeping rough on the streets which a judge described as a “worrying and disturbing” offence.

Reece Finch 18, carried out the unprovoked attack on the 63-year-old woman as she was preparing to settle down for the night in an alleyway off the Market Place, in Great Yarmouth, in the early hours of October 12, last year.

John Morgans, prosecuting, said Finch grabbed the woman in a headlock, then rammed her head into a metal gate leaving her with a fractured eye socket and cheekbones.

The injured woman managed to stagger into the Market Place where she was later found lying unconscious and badly injured and was taken to hospital to be treated.

Norwich Crown Court heard that after the “brutal” attack, Finch left the scene covered in blood and later lied to friends that he had been in a fight with a 20 year-old and he had “left him for dead”.

Finch, of North Quay, Great Yarmouth, denied causing grievous bodily harm with intent, but was found guilty by a jury, who were out for just over an hour.

Finch showed no emotion after the unanimous verdict was returned.

Judge Stephen Holt told him it was a “worrying and disturbing offence” and asked for reports to assess what danger Finch posed.

He said: “I found what happened that night extremely worrying.”

He said it was a serious assault on a defenceless woman. “Whether it was brought about by drugs who knows?”

He said he needed to know much more about Finch and the risks he posed before sentence which he adjourned until May 29. He remanded Finch in custody.

During the trial the jury heard how the victim had been living on the streets since 2013, having moved to Norfolk from Merseyside, and had been left scared to go back on the streets following the violent assault.

She said she suffered a lot of pain from her injuries and said: “I have no idea why he did it.”

She added: “I have done nothing to deserve this.”

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